Wednesday, August 24, 2016



Ebenezer Empowerment Center
2929 Princess Place Drive
Wilmington, NC 28405
7:00 P.M. - 8:30 P.M.

Senator Dan Blue, Democratic Leader of the NC Senate, and Senator Mike Woodard, will be hosting a community town hall meeting in conjunction with the North Carolina Senate Democratic Caucus on Thursday, September 8, 2016 from 7:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M., at the Ebenezer Empowerment Center.  Leader Blue, Senator Woodard, and other members of the Senate Democratic Caucus will be discussing issues related to the recently completed 2016 Legislative Session that directly impact this region, particularly education, tourism, and retention and sustainment of the film industry, as well as economic incentives that support job growth and development.  Other issues to be discussed include voter identification, Congressional and Legislative Redistricting efforts, and anticipated issues for the 2017 Legislative Session.  Area constituents’ thoughts, concerns, and suggestions will also be solicited and, where appropriate, will be incorporated into the Senate Democratic Caucus' plan of action for 2017.  The Senate Democratic Caucus wants to hear directly from New Hanover County residents and how we can better represent you in Raleigh.
Please join us on Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 7:00 P.M. for this important community town hall meeting.

Contact:  Leslie Rudd, 919.733.6854              Fred Aikens, 919.715.9594



By Cash Michaels

            GEORGE CURRY – Journalism is a business where I’ve been able to meet a lot of inspirational people – Muhammad Ali, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama,…you name them.
            But I also had the chance to meet leaders in my industry who paved the way for black journalists like myself, and one such pioneer was the great George Curry.
            I first became aware of George during my teenage years while watching “Lead Story” on Black Entertainment Television back in the day when BET was afraid to put on news and public affairs programming to help inform the black community.
            I ‘ll never forget this strong, intelligent black man from Alabama who unceasingly challenged nonsense when he heard it, and stood  solid for his community with apologies. So when BET, in its infinite “wisdom” took “Lead Story” off because it wanted to give its audience more gangsta rap music (Lord help us), I missed my weekly dose of George, but soon found him again when he published “Emerge” Magazine, a weekly black newsmagazine whose most memorable edition was a starling illustrating of US Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas with a handkerchief around his head surrounded by some black lawn jockeys who looked just like him.
            The point of the historic cover was clear – “Uncle” Clarence was a disgrace to black people
            Emerge Magazine didn’t last long, but it did leave an impression, especially about the no-nonsense devotion George Curry had to the truth. He aligned himself with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, becoming NNPA’s editor0in-chief, and years later, when I had grown in the black newspaper business as a journalist, I got the chance to meet George, and have him send several of my stories out to the over 200-member NNPA papers.
            Working with George was always interesting because he was always the teacher, helping me make my stories better for our national audience. And in 2014 when I co-produced the CashWorks HD – NNPA documentary production of “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten,” George was one of my greatest champions, giving me advice, directing me towards sources, and being a true brother in the cause.
            I’ll never forget in January 2014, while I was interviewing George for the film, when I finished, he turned the tables and began interviewing me, telling me that my story was much more important. George had no idea how honored, and humbled I was.
            Over the past few years, George and I stayed in touch. I had a stroke and he had had a heart attack. But the love and the admiration remained strong.
            I am proud that I got to know, and work with George Curry, as a brother and a colleague. He was a man of true conviction for his people, and the truth. George was a man of history, having met with people like South President Nelson Mandela and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
            We are a better people and a better community becajuse of the journalistic contributions of George E. Curry. I pray that Almighty GOD blesses his family and colleagues in their hour of bereavement.
            And thank you, George, for all that you’ve done, and all that your legacy will mean to our people, and the world.
            Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            When celebrity businessman Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president in July 2015, he claimed Mexican illegal immigrants were “rapists…bringing drugs, bringing crime.”
            Months later during the Republican primaries, Trump traveled the nation, telling enthusiastic supporters at rallies that if elected president, not only would he build a wall at the United States and Mexican border to keep the ‘illegals” out, but he would also impose a ban on Muslims entering the United States in an effort to combat terrorism.
            By the time Republican presidential nominee Trump got around to addressing black people two weeks ago, he was already calling President Obama “the founder of ISIS.” African-Americans, already angry with Trump for claiming that the president was actually born in Kenya, not the United States, rewarded Trump with just one percent black support in the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll. And yet, that didn’t stop Trump from uttering the following apparently to African-Americans:
            “You’re living in poverty, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed,” Trump, talking to African-Americans, said to a mostly white rally in Michigan last week. “What the hell do you have to lose?”
Monday in Akron, Ohio,  Trump continued with what many said was a condescending diatribe towards blacks: "You can go to war zones in countries that we're fighting and it's safer than living in some of our inner cities... I ask you this. Crime. All of the problems. To the African Americans who I employ so many -- so many people... What the hell do you have to lose? ... You'll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. Right now, you walk down the street. You get shot. What the hell to you have to lose?”
And just this week, the Associated Press reported that the personal social media accounts of several paid Trump campaign staffers revealed racist communications which included, “A graphic designer for Trump’s advance team approvingly posted video of a black man eating fried chicken and criticizing fellow blacks for ignorance, irresponsibility and having too many children.”
The angry reaction from blacks to the controversial Republican’s campaign has been unceasing, starting with US Rep. G. K. Butterfield [D-NC-1], chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Mr. Trump has shown little interest in earning the black community's vote,” Rep. Butterfield said. “His comments made last week in Michigan are further proof that he is not fit to be President and is completely out of touch with the African American community.  Painting the picture that the entire African American community is living in poverty with no jobs is completely irresponsible.
"Donald Trump asks what the black community has to lose by voting for him?  The answer is simple: We have everything to lose,” Butterfield says.
North Carolina’s only other black congressional representative, 12th District Congresswoman Alma Adams, also no fan of Donald Trump, is quoted as telling The Charlotte Observer several weeks that she was “scared” of the Republican presidential nominee.
State Rep. Cecil Brockman [D- Guilford] also had hard feelings about Trump.
“Donald Trump has no real interest in reaching out to black voters,” Rep. Brockman said. “Instead he wants to try and make Americans forget about his divisive, hateful, and racist rhetoric of the past. If he really cared about the issues that black people face, he would actually spend time in our communities and make a real, substantive outreach. Instead, he insults the very voters he claims to be courting with condescension and the echoing of stereotypes.”
In Facebook responses posted for this story, black voters from across North Carolina were uniformly dismissive of Trump’s overture.
‘Voting for this idiot could cause more black lives taken”, posted Tee Huff, referring to Trump’s common mantra to white audiences of being a ‘law and order” candidate who would have no tolerance for the Black Lives Matter movement. Trump has been critical of President Obama’s efforts to build bridges between the police and the black community.
“[Trump] only wants to make America great again  for the white man by keeping the black man down,” remarked anti-Trumpster Donna Spivey in a nod to Trump’s alleged white supremacist connections and support base.
Veronica Nwosa said, “Not only was he condescending and insulting to all black people, he clearly showed that he had no idea about the problems that black people face or the history of the struggle for civil rights for black people. He wasn't particularly talking to black people as he was speaking from an audience that was over 90% white. He was giving permission to his followers to say that he has reached out to black people. When he loses, then he will blame black people for his loss. It is also a divide and conquer strategy to appeal to black people as he knows that his insults to Hispanics, Muslims, women, the disabled, etc. cannot be glossed over. He is toast”
Borrowing Trump’s own question to African-Americans,” What do I have o lose by voting for Trump?” Greg GBaby Taylor, formerly of Charlotte, answered,
“#MyDignity.” Angela Marie Grimes of Raleigh also answered the rhetorical question with, “My mind and my freedom.”
            Most political observers agree that North Carolina is one of the key battleground states Donald Trump will need if he’s to have any chanceof winning the presidency. But unless he can stop the black vote, which is 91 percent against him from turning out, he has little chance of winning.


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            The untimely death of veteran black journalist George E. Curry has saddened not only many in the civil rights, media and political communities who knew Curry and his work across the nation, but also across North Carolina.
            Curry, 69, reportedly died of heart failure Saturday, was the formw editer-in-chef for the national Newspaper Publishers’ Association, the nonprofit association of over 200-member African-American newspapers.
The publisher of the Wilmington Journal, a NNPA member paper, remembers Curry fondly.
“George Curry was a part of NNPA's effort to gain pardons for the Wilmington Ten,” recalled publisher Mary Alice Jervay Thatch, who is also president of the NC Black Publishers Association.  “On the day NNPA announced at the National Press Club our intent to secure those pardons, George interviewed Wilmington Ten leader Dr. Ben Chavis onstage. It brought tears to our eyes, including Ben's. Later Ben had to admit that this was the most emotional interview he had experienced and the first time he had cried in public!
“Once we placed the request for pardons on [then] Governor Perdue's desk a year later,” Mrs. Thatch continued, “George was there to ensure that our story was being told through NNPA's newswire service.”
Ernie Pitt, publisher of the Winston-Salem Chronicle, was among the many North Carolina black publishers who mourned the loss of this legendary colleague.
            “I have had the pleasure of working with George for more than two decades, “Mr. Pitt said. “He was a classic, dedicated and committed journalist. Working with George was so gratifying because he took writing articles and news stories seriously.”
“He was a stickler for getting the story right,” Mr. Pitt continued. “Working with NNPA interns was one of his pleasures. He wanted our young people to develop  a zeal for getting the facts right and putting the story together with depth and clear understanding. Our profession will forever miss George Curry.”
North Carolina Congressman G. K. Butterfield [D-NC-1], chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, was one of those elected black leaders who appreciated Curry’s devotion to the truth, and commitment to shining a light on important issues.
“The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) joins with members of the press from around the country to mourn the loss of George E. Curry, a pioneer in civil rights and journalism,” Rep. Butterfield wrote.
“George E. Curry was a giant in journalism and he stood on the front lines of the Civil Rights era and used his voice to tell our stories when others would not.  The CBC offers our sympathies and condolences to his friends and family, his readers from around the country, and to the countless number of individuals he mentored in the art of reporting and journalistic writing until his untimely death.”
Irving Joyner, law professor at North Carolina Central University’s School of Law in Durham, and chairman of the NCNAACP’s Legal Redress Committee, expressed his respect for a civil rights veteran who built bridges by chronicling history.
“I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the transitioning of this GIANT in our journalistic world,” Prof. Joyner said. “As a committed African American journalist, George presented the truth and nothing but the truth in the many articles and news analysis which he authored. He was very committed to his craft and possessed a keen knowledge of the African American community and never ducked an opportunity to better explain our position and view of things which impacted us and our community.”
For many, the work of journalist George Curry will never be forgotten.
            That is a great loss for the Black Press,”wrote reader William Hart. “It is assumed that his staff will continue to provide access to other columnists that appear on a regular basis...”
Even former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton took time from her run for president
to pay tribute  to the veteran black journalist.
            "I am saddened by the loss of an outstanding journalist and supportive friend, Mrs. Clinton said. “George E. Curry was a pioneering journalist, a tireless crusader for justice, and a true agent of change. With quality reporting, creativity, and skillful persuasion he influenced countless people, including me, to think beyond their narrow experience and expand their understanding. George may be gone, but he will not be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones."
            George Edward Curry, a media pioneer and longtime advocate for the black press and civil rights, will be laid to rest Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, in his hometown, with the Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network, delivering the eulogy at Weeping Mary Baptist Church, 2701-20th Street, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401.
Dr. Charles Steele, president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and lifelong friend of Mr. Curry, announced the arrangements today.  The two leaders grew up in the segregated South at a time when Jim Crow laws were the order of the day. They made a pact early in life to never forget their upbringing and to work to help lift others, Dr. Steele said.
            “We wanted to tell our stories, because we knew it could inspire and impact others,” Dr. Steele said. “We were two fellas from impoverished backgrounds, where African-Americans endured second-class citizenship. We were able to overcome and find success. We will celebrate that success in remembering the life of George Curry this weekend.”
A number of dignitaries and noted journalists are expected to attend the services.


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